SEOUL, Oct. 12 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s taxi-hailing market, dominated by internet giant Kakao Corp.’s mobility unit, is facing a new challenger.
Viva Republica Inc., the operator of financial app Toss, recently acquired 60 percent stake in VCNC, the company behind ride-hailing service Tada.
Tada currently operates a taxi-hailing app after its popular van-hailing service was scrapped in April last year due to a new legislation backed by taxi drivers. Toss plans to introduce a new Tada service platform in December.
South Korea’s taxi-hailing market is currently dominated by Kakao’s taxi-hailing service Kakao T. UT and Tada, the second and third largest mobility platforms, respectively, are far behind.
Toss plans to maintain the Tada brand and its application and will focus on expanding the franchise.
Unlike Kakao and UT, Tada will not jump into the chauffeuring market or intermediary business, Toss said.
Toss is aiming for a five-minute hailing service in the Seoul area. The company is expected to expand the number of vehicles available as soon as the acquisition process is complete.
For UT, a joint venture between Uber Technologies Inc. and local mobile carrier SK Telecom Co.’s mobility unit, it comes as a serious challenge.
It is currently beta testing its new app that combines Uber and Tmap Mobility platforms and is scheduled for completion by the end of this month.
“Toss is notorious for its aggressive promotion strategies,” an industry source said. “The taxi-hailing market is on alert as it expects a synergetic effect between Toss’s payment system and Tada.”
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)